Amazon is making the technology supporting its Amazon Go checkout-free store format available to other retailers – for a price.
The e-tail giant is now selling its “Just Walk Out” technology platform to enable other retailers to offer a cashierless shopping experience. The platform combines computer vision, sensor fusion, and machine-learning algorithms.
Unlike the Just Walk Out experience at Amazon Go convenience and grocery locations, where customers identify themselves by scanning an app, the licensed version will have customers announce themselves with a credit card. According to Reuters, customers will insert a credit card into a gated turnstile marked with a “Just Walk Out technology by Amazon” logo.
The rest of the shopping experience will be the same as the Amazon Go location, with items that customers pick up automatically added to a virtual shopping cart. If they return an item to a shelf, it is removed from their virtual cart. Their credit card will be billed for any items they take with them when they leave the store, without having to scan a barcode or wait in a checkout line.
To obtain a receipt, shoppers can enter their email address at a kiosk in the store and receive an email receipt. If they then use the same credit card at that or any other Just Walk Out-enabled store, they will automatically receive an email receipt.
Amazon will work with retailers to install hardware for Just Walk Out, such as cameras and sensors, at existing stores while “minimizing impact” on operations or to include it in construction plans for new and remodeled stores. The e-tailer says installation can take as little as “a few weeks” from when it gains access to a store. Amazon says it will offer “all necessary technologies” and a 24/7 customer support line.
The company advises that Just Walk Out-enabled stores will still need human associates to perform tasks such as greeting customers, stocking shelves, and checking IDs for certain products. Amazon says it will only collect the data needed to provide an accurate receipt.
“Do customers like standing in lines?” Dilip Kumar, Amazon VP of physical retail and technology, said to Reuters. “This has pretty broad applicability across store sizes, across industries, because it fundamentally tackles a problem of how do you get convenience in physical locations, especially when people are hard-pressed for time.”
Amazon did not offer estimates of how many retailers might want to implement Just Walk Out at their own stores or what the technology will cost.
Amazon opened its first Amazon Go cashierless convenience store in January 2018, and its first Amazon Go Grocery location in February 2020.